Jefferson City – State Auditor Nicole Galloway on Dec. 14 said she will audit departing Attorney General Josh Hawley’s office “with heightened scrutiny” amid allegations that he may have misused taxpayer resources when he hired outside political consultants to help oversee his government office. Hawley, a Republican, became attorney general in January 2017 but just months later, despite his campaign pledge to serve a full term, began campaigning for the U.S. Senate, a post to which he was elected last month.
Galloway, a Democrat, made her comments in a letter to Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, who on Dec. 10 and had requested her assistance in an investigation he is conducting into the allegations against Hawley.
Although a 2016 state law gives the Secretary of State authority to investigate such claims, it doesn’t grant him the power to subpoena documents or witness testimony.
As auditor, Galloway has subpoena power and will automatically begin an audit of the attorney general’s office when Hawley steps down next month.
In her response to Ashcroft, Galloway said she would share information she discovers that is relevant to Ashcroft’s investigation.
RESPONSE TO GOVERNMENT
Ashcroft launched the investigation on Dec. 6 in response to a complaint filed with his office by the American Democracy Legal Fund, a non-profit organization with Democratic ties that promotes government accountability.
The Kansas City Star brought the allegations to light in an Oct. 31 story. Under state law, Ashcroft had the option of dismissing the complaint if he had found it frivolous.